Mapping the Employee Journey: From Onboarding to Resignation

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In today’s modern workplace, it’s vital to understand the journey your employees go on. 

Not only is this key in terms of helping your employees to grow and develop but it’s imperative in terms of overall business success.

This journey is not just about processes and policies; it’s about the individual’s emotions, expectations, and engagement levels.

With that being said, below, we’ll map out the typical employee journey in full.

What is the ‘employee journey’

The employee journey can be best visualized as a roadmap, detailing every key touchpoint, experience, and milestone a worker encounters from the moment they join a company until their eventual exit.

The importance of understanding the employee journey

It’s vital for both employers and employees to understand the employee journey. There are numerous reasons why:

For employers:

  • Optimize processes – If you understand every phase of the journey, you can then refine processes effectively, from recruitment to retirement. 
  • Increase employee retention – A well-mapped journey helps identify areas of employee discontent early on. Addressing these issues proactively can reduce turnover and related costs.
  • Enhance your brand as an employer – A positive, clearly defined employee journey can become a strong selling point for prospective talent, establishing your company as an attractive place to work.
  • Create a feedback loop – You’ll have a structured framework for gathering feedback, which means management is empowered to make timely, data-driven decisions.
  • Growth and development – With clarity on how your employees progress through your business, you can invest effectively in targeted training and upskilling.

For employees:

  • Clear career pathway – An outlined journey will give your employees a sense of direction, helping them visualize their growth and progression in your company. 
  • Empowerment – Knowing the journey fosters a sense of ownership. Employees are better positioned to voice concerns, seek opportunities, and actively engage in their roles.
  • Personal growth – As employees understand the journey, they can identify areas of personal development, be it skills, relationships, or leadership capabilities.
  • Transparency and trust – A documented journey promotes openness, enabling employees to know what to expect. They’ll trust in your commitment to their well-being.

Consider creating an employee handbook

To further support these goals, having a comprehensive employee handbook is essential. It serves as a foundation for clear policies and processes, enhancing both the employer brand and the employee experience. You can use this employee handbook template to get started.

The power of preboarding

Preboarding is the phase that bridges the gap between a successful job offer and an employee’s first day.

Think of it as the prelude to onboarding, setting the stage for a new hire’s journey in your organization.

Importantly, preboarding is not just an administrative process.

It’s an opportunity to create the first real impression of the company culture, the teams, and the role itself.

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Especially for top talents, who are brimming with enthusiasm, this phase offers a window to channel their excitement and to ensure they feel valued and engaged even before their official start date.

Activities typically involved in preboarding

✔️ Paperwork

✔️ Setting up tools and systems

✔️ Initial introductions

✔️ Preliminary training

The impact of a smooth preboarding on the overall onboarding experience

By developing an excellent pre boarding process, you’ll set the tone for your employee’s entire journey with your business. 

This matters for a number of reasons:

  • Boost confidence – Your employee will feel prepared and ready to take on their new role. 
  • Create excitement – A glimpse into your company’s culture, values, and teams can amplify enthusiasm, ensuring new hires are eager to contribute from day dot.
  • Promote early engagement – New hires want to get started right away. Preboarding leverages this enthusiasm. It makes sure that new workers feel part of the team, even before they officially start.
  • Reduce first-day jitters – Being a new person is always daunting! However, when a new hire is already familiar with tools, systems, and a few faces, it can make the first day more productive and less scary.

The significance of onboarding

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – How many times have you heard this quote from Will Rogers?

The onboarding process is basically your new hire’s introduction to your company. 

This initial phase has a big impact on how an employee perceives your business. Whether positive or negative, these perceptions often last.

Laying the foundation for a productive and engaged employee

Onboarding is not just about introductions and training. It’s about laying the foundation for an employee’s future with your company:

  • Relationship building – By introducing new hires to their teams you can create camaraderie, ensuring a collaborative work environment
  • Feedback channels – If you establish clear communication channels from the beginning, employees are able to voice concerns, ask questions, and seek guidance. This promotes an environment of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Cultural immersion – Onboarding allows new employees to dive deep into your company’s culture. Activities, team lunches, or group projects can give insights into team dynamics, company traditions, and the unwritten norms of your business.

Early days: Settling In

In the initial days, new employees are often raring to go but may also feel like a fish out of water. They have the skills and enthusiasm but may lack the specific knowledge and context to perform at their peak.

This is where training programs and mentorship come into play.

Customized training programs, which are tailored to the employee’s role, will enhance skills, help them get familiar with tools, and understanding processes.

Pairing a newcomer with a seasoned employee is also beneficial. Mentors can guide new hires through the intricacies of their roles and responsibilities.

Plus, by giving someone a go-to person for doubts, feedback, or even general company queries, you make the settling in process a lot easier.

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Maintaining engagement and motivation

Now that your employee is part of the team, it’s all about keeping those engagement and motivation levels high. We’ve identified three critical ways of doing so:

  1. Recognition and rewards – Employees thrive in an environment where their efforts are noticed and appreciated. Recognition and rewards send a clear message that your employees’ efforts matter. They also boost morale and encourage healthy competition. 
  2. Work-life balance and employee well-being – Rested and well-balanced employees are often more productive, innovative, and driven. Plus, they take fewer sick days and are more consistent in their attendance.
  3. The role of leadership and communication – Leaders need to articulate a clear vision, ensuring every team member understands and feels connected to the larger company goals.

Explore tools like Great People Inside Instruments to enhance your employee journey.

Continuous learning and skill development

Regular performance reviews and constructive feedback loops are critical. They help to align your goals with your employees’ goals, fostering a culture of mutual growth. 

Simultaneously, if you provide opportunities for employees to move up the career ladder and take on more tasks, there are two clear benefits:

  • You show commitment to your employees’ futures
  • You’ll have a more skilled workforce, which can propel your business forward

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Recognizing signs of disengagement

It’s often said that employees don’t leave companies; they leave managers or a toxic work culture.

An individual’s disengagement doesn’t just affect them but has ripple effects across the team and business. It can:

  • Drain morale
  • Reduce collaboration
  • Increase workload for others
  • Disrupt ongoing projects
  • Tarnish your work culture

Disengagement is like a silent alarm, signaling deeper issues in the fabric of your business, whether it’s leadership, work culture, or employee relations.

Recognizing and addressing it is not just about retaining an individual but safeguarding the collective spirit, productivity, and future success of the team.

Addressing concerns and providing support

It’s essential to establish open communication channels so you can truly understand and address employee concerns. Examples include surveys, one-on-ones, and robust feedback systems.

This will foster a transparent environment where employees feel valued and heard.

Receiving a letter of resignation

When employees want to leave, they’ll hand in a letter of resignation. You can see these letter of resignation examples to get an idea of what to expect.

While each individual’s journey is unique, there are common factors that often lead to resignation:

  • A perceived lack of advancement opportunities or role stagnation
  • Issues like unsupportive managers, toxic team dynamics, or an incongruent company culture
  • Insufficient remuneration or benefits compared to industry standards
  • Overburdening workloads or inflexible schedule
  • Sometimes, individuals seek fresh challenges, a change in career direction, or personal growth outside the current business

If someone wants to leave, it’s important to conduct an exit interview.

Direct feedback can reveal systemic problems or specific areas of concern that may have been overlooked.

Plus, learning why employees leave can provide guidance on how to better attract and retain talent.

Post-resignation: Offboarding and alumni relations

Even after an employee departs, maintaining a positive relationship can have benefits. Former employees can be ambassadors for the brand, vouching for the company’s values and work culture.

Such relationships ensure departures are amicable and open the possibility of rehiring should circumstances align.

To turn offboarding into future opportunities, you should offer one-on-one exit interviews, uncover possible areas for improvement in the business, reinforce confidentiality, and sign them up for your alumni program. In fact, a lot of people do the latter early on.

Conclusion: The cyclical nature of the employee journey

The employee journey isn’t linear; it’s cyclical. From the first introductions to offboarding, and sometimes back to a reunion, the journey is evolving all of the time. Therefore, understanding and perfecting the employee journey is something that requires your continual attention. It’s not a one-time thing.

Article By Kerry Leigh Harrison 

Kerry Leigh Harrison has over 11+ years of experience as a content writer. She graduated from university with a First Class Hons Degree in Multimedia Journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys attending sports and music events.

Best Ways to Counteract False Urgency Culture at Work

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, characterised by heightened connectivity and relentless competition, the need to work with a sense of urgency is more prevalent than ever. However, not all urgency is created equal. False urgency, often disguised as high initiative and activity, can be counterproductive, leading to stress and burnout among leaders and employees. In this article, we’ll explore the signs of false urgency and how leaders can address this issue within their teams while fostering a culture of true urgency.

We are more connected and agile than ever, working at high speed to stay on top of workloads and remain competitive. A sense of urgency and scarce time permeates every day.

However, too often, much of the frenetic activity in organisations is false urgency: unproductive busyness that doesn’t lead to meaningful progress. While false urgency has always existed to some degree, the pandemic, heightened connectivity, and the expectation for rapid responses have stealthily solidified its presence.

Of course, you want your team to act with genuine urgency about what matters most. But it’s easy to mistake false urgency for true urgency — both look like high initiative and activity. As stress and burnout in leaders and employees remain alarmingly high, leaders must recognise the distinction and root out false urgency from their teams.

Recognise the Signs

False urgency can insidiously infiltrate an organisation, even without deliberate intent. Leaders may unknowingly create an atmosphere of chronic overwhelm and reactivity, causing their teams to constantly respond to perceived crises. This continuous “jumping” between tasks can hinder meaningful progress and drain team energy. To identify false urgency, leaders should look for signs such as apologising for frequent fire drills, working on evenings and weekends, and receiving feedback to prioritise more effectively.

Pinpoint the Source of Urgency

Understanding the source of urgency is critical to distinguishing between genuine and false urgency. False urgency often stems from anxiety or fear of negative consequences. For instance, an employee may rush to complete a task out of the fear of disappointing clients or damaging relationships with senior executives. Leaders should introspect and question their motivations, reframing limiting beliefs that may contribute to false urgency. Encouraging respectful challenges and spirited debate can help shift the focus from anxiety-driven urgency to a more productive work environment.

Prioritise Ruthlessly

One of the challenges in addressing false urgency is prioritising the important over the urgent. Research indicates that humans tend to prioritise tasks with shorter deadlines, often neglecting more significant long-term goals. To overcome this, leaders can create psychological distance by imagining the situation from a future perspective or by considering what advice they would give to another team. Focusing on the potential gains of abandoning efforts that have already been invested in can also be an effective strategy.

Creating psychological distance is one technique that can help you stay focused on the big picture. Imagine physical distance, a separation in time, or that someone other than you is involved in the current situation. For example, you might ask yourself, “If I imagine it’s a year from now, what is the most important thing for us to do now?” Or “If this was someone else’s team, how would I advise them to prioritise what’s on their team’s plate?”

Additionally, deliberately focusing on the potential gains of abandoning ideas and endeavours into which you’ve already invested time, money, or effort. Ask yourself: “What are the advantages of discontinuing? What will it cost us if we don’t suspend our efforts?” It can be helpful to create reminders that subtraction is an advantageous option. Challenge your team to develop a list of everything they think the team could subtract or stop doing in the coming year.

Employ Strategic Procrastination

Procrastination, when used purposefully, can contribute to better outcomes. Strategic procrastination involves starting a task and gradually working on it over time to allow for deeper thinking and creativity to emerge. This approach may require resetting expectations and repatterning relationships with stakeholders to ensure more sustainable work practices.

This tactic may require resetting expectations and repatterning relationships with stakeholders, as it did for Ram. As Ram allowed himself and his team more time to complete stakeholder requests, he effectively managed their expectations by proactively communicating timelines and articulating the reasons for them. Over time, this reset stakeholder expectations and reduced their dependency on his team to quickly solve their problems, allowing for a more sustainable pace and often better final product.

Vet External Requests and Buffer Your Team Leaders

often face a deluge of external requests that may contribute to false urgency. It’s essential to shield the team from unnecessary pressure by evaluating the true urgency of these requests. Leaders can engage in discussions with stakeholders to consider trade-offs and strategic thinking before committing to new demands. Empower team members to question requests that have unrealistic timelines or fall outside their scope, and offer support in delivering “no” or “not now” responses to external stakeholders.

For example, let’s say your boss makes a new request of you or your team. While you want to show willingness, leaders are often unaware of the effort necessary to fulfil their demands and the trade-offs required. Rather than quickly agreeing to the new request, you might say, “We’re willing to do what it takes, of course, but would you be open to discussing the trade-offs first?” After all, considering the costs and benefits of different courses of action is strategic thinking at its core and fundamental to effective executive leadership.

If your team members are juggling many outside requests, give them clear guidelines about which ones to accommodate and empower them to question requests that have unrealistic timelines or fall outside the team’s remit. Be aware, however, that team members may be reluctant to push back on external stakeholders and more senior leaders. Bolster their efforts by consistently offering to step in and convey a considered “no” or “not now” to external stakeholders.

Foster a Team Culture of True Urgency

Creating a team culture that promotes true urgency is key to combating false urgency. Define clear criteria for urgent tasks, such as strategic alignment or critical client needs, and schedule regular reviews to reassess priorities. Establish communication channels and response-time expectations to ensure efficient and focused work. Encourage team members to challenge the urgency of tasks, making it psychologically safe for them to do so. Leaders should actively listen and acknowledge their team’s input, even if they ultimately maintain a deadline.

Work with your team to create norms that foster a reasonable operational tempo. Consider defining specific criteria for what constitutes an urgent task — such as strategic alignment, critical client needs, or safety concerns — and schedule regular reviews to reassess priorities and identify instances of false urgency. Also, establish appropriate communication channels and define reasonable response-time expectations based on urgency levels. For example, you might set a 24- or 48-hour response time to emails unless marked “urgent.” Without an explicit norm, your team will likely drop what they’re doing to answer your emails, even if they aren’t urgent.


Managing urgency in the workplace is a delicate balancing act. Leaders must recognise the signs of false urgency, pinpoint its sources, prioritise effectively, employ strategic procrastination, vet external requests, and foster a culture of true urgency. By addressing these issues, leaders can create a more productive and sustainable work environment, ultimately benefiting both the organisation and its employees.


Take the first step towards transforming your remote work culture by requesting a free demo assessment from Great People Inside.        

Our team of experts will guide you through the assessment process, showcasing the effectiveness and value of our tailored solutions for your organization.        

During the demo, you will have the opportunity to explore the comprehensive features and functionalities of our psychometric assessments, experiencing firsthand how they can empower your HR strategies and drive positive outcomes. From personality assessments to cognitive abilities and team dynamics evaluations, our assessments provide valuable insights to enhance talent management and foster inclusive remote work environments.        

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to test the power of unbiased HR solutions. Request your free demo assessment from Great People Inside today and embark on a journey of fair and effective talent management in the remote work era.        

Together, we can unlock the true potential of your remote teams and achieve remarkable success. Request a Free Demo Assessment.        

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